Anorak News | Homosexuality In Post-Taliban Afghanistan

Homosexuality In Post-Taliban Afghanistan

by | 14th, June 2007

THEY no logner crush gays with tanks:

One of the rarely remarked upon consequences of Taliban rule in Afghanistan was its treatment of gays. Though their official policy—execution—wasn’t that out of the ordinary compared to Iran (or many other Muslim countries), their method, pushing a wall over, using a tank, and seeing how long the victim would survive, was especially brutal.

But what of gays in Afghanistan now? Traditionally, Islam hasn’t been especially hostile to homosexuality—well regarded classical Islamic poets have written lengthy love sonnets to the young boys they chased after, and were celebrated for it (while in the West we classify ephebophilia as a criminal sickness indistinguishable from pederasty, the line is much more distinct in other societies, including pre-modern Islam). Even in neighboring Pakistan, in Pashtun-majority areas no less, so-called male brides—in which a teenage boy is married off to an older man—happens today. And in Saudi Arabia, discrete homosexuality is virtually encouraged (or at least assented to) by the harsh religious police, which criminalize male-female relations but ignore same-sex relations.

Even the Taliban’s brutal repression of gays can’t be seen as simple hatred. A recent set of rules for Taliban fighters included prohibitions against taking boys into their tents alone, among other bizarre rules on sexuality (such as the power of the woman’s ankle). The excellent, if depressing film Osama includes a scene in which a Taliban elder instructs a room full of boys, at length, in how to properly wash their genitals. And Kandahar, the stronghold of the Taliban in the 90’s, was once known as the gay capital of South Asia.

Any lesbians?

Posted: 14th, June 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (6) | TrackBack | Permalink